The Concord basketball team knew something big was coming their way when they were told they would be watching a special video message Thursday after school.
When the Minutemen walked in the room, they saw a few reporters and definitely realized something was up.
The video message was from 1988 Concord alum and former NBA standout Shawn Kemp, who congratulated the players on making the team and letting them know he looked forward to chatting with all of them when he comes to Concord's game against Goshen on January 10th.
"From the bottom of my heart, CHS go to work this year and hopefully this gift right here can inspire you guys to have the best season you've had in a really long time," Kemp declared.
Concord coach Steve Austin then showed off the gift. A pair of Shawn Kemp Reebok throwback sneakers from his playing days in the NBA for each varsity player to wear during the season. The sneakers are a special re-release of the Kemp brand.
The reaction was absurd. Junior Austin Danner collapsed in his chair he was so excited.
"My reaction was crazy because I wasn't expecting this at all," Danner said with a big smile. "During class I was just thinking about new shoes for the basketball season and then this happens at the end of the day."
Players swarmed the sneakers, searching out a pair that was their size.
"This is great," senior point guard Ramon Johnson adds. "We're very thankful to get shoes from an amazing player like that. I'm just speechless."
Concord coach Steve Austin explained to his kids how 'giving back' is an important part of life and that this is a lesson on how doing so can mean something big to others.
"It was great by Shawn to give back to the high school here and his roots," Austin said. "He's just going to make things so much better for this program."